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how to stop smoking

How to Quit Smoking (and other bad habits) with Acupuncture

addiction quit smoking

This may come as a shock, but I used to smoke! 

In high school, I thought it looked cool.  As simple as that.  

When I decided to quit, it was cold turkey. 

One day I just looked at my burning chunk of lung-tar and was like, "Why am I doing this?!  It doesn't taste good.  It smells bad.  It makes ME smell bad.  And it doesn't even get me high or nothin'!" 

And that was that.    

We do things regularly because at some level we get pleasure from it. 

The pleasure may not always benefit us, obviously.  But on some level, the habit stimulates enjoyment receptors in your brain.  

In my clinic, when someone tells me they want to quit smoking, my first question is “Are you sure?”  As in, do you REALLY want to quit?  And sometimes the answer to this is “No.  But I should.” 

And that’s the end of that conversation right there.  

It’s as simple as really wanting something … or not. 

It’s like aiming an arrow.  Do you really want to hit the target or is it just something someone told you to do, like “you should do (this).”  

External rewards (praise, extra money in your wallet, smelling good, a “30 days sober” token, etc.) pale in comparison to internal rewards.  When you truly know you’re doing something to live your best life, you’re in alignment with your higher self, and you’re chosing your own destiny, it’s clear to know what to do.  

And it comes down to this:  you don’t have to quit!  

But if something in the back of your head is nagging you, consider this.  I’m not talking about a significant other, friend, or family member nagging you.  I’m talking about your conscience, or subconscience, or intuition, or whatever you want to call it.  


Start with this:  what are your top 2 values 

I got this idea from Brene Brown.  Go through this list of values, adding some of your own if yours aren’t listed.  Next, circle the ones that resonate strongest with you. 

From there, narrow it down to 2. 

For example, you may have circled “loyalty,” “trust,” “faith,” and “hope.”  If it seems that some of these embody others, you’re absolutely right.  In this example, let’s say you feel that “trust” and “hope” has to do with having “faith.”  So “faith” and “loyalty” would be the top 2 since “faith” would encompass the others.  This is only an example, and everyone’s narrowing down process will be extremely personal.  

From there, write down:

1. How does it feel when you’re doing things aligned with your values?  Write specific examples of you doing this.

2. How does it feel when you’re doing things not aligned with your values?  Give specific examples.  

How does your “bad habit” work within your values? 

It’s just food for thought. 

If you’ve been thinking about quitting a non-productive habit (one of MY top values is "productivity"), try this exercise.  

I came to the conclusion that my productivity suffers when I indulge too much in my own bad habits, say, drinking too much wine.  Knowing that, it was so much easier to cut back.  I want to be productive, and if I'm sluggish and wine-logged, I'm not. 

Being in alignment with your highest good helps you make the best decisions for yourself.

Acupuncture and Addiction

Acupuncture can also help with quitting smoking, cutting back on drinking, or other "bad" habits.

In TCM, we say that addictive substances build up pathogenic phlegm in the body.  This phlegm isn't necessarily something you can see (like sinus mucous).  Rather, it "mists the mind."  It causes clouded thinking and imbalances in your body's energy, or Qi ("chee").  

Acupuncture uses points that calm the mind and spirit.  The needles very lightly stimulate nerve pathways to temporarily shut off the "flight or fight" system in your body.  You go into a very deep relaxation.  It's kind of like when you reboot your computer so it works better.  

The idea isn't that it "makes" you quit, but rather, you become more like YOU.  The best version of YOU who makes the best choices for yourself.  

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